NUTLEY, NJ – The Nutley High School girls’ varsity basketball team returns its entire roster this season, which bodes well for another strong campaign.
The Raiders are coming off a 16-9 campaign last winter in which they won the Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division title with an 11-1 division mark. It marked only the second time that the program won a divisional mark. The first came in 2012.
Nutley moves up to the SEC-American Division which is the highest division in the conference.
“This year we return our whole roster from last season, which we are really excited about,” said NHS head coach Larry Mitschow, a NHS graduate who is entering his seventh year at the helm and 21st overall in the NHS boys’ and girls’ hoops programs. “The kids know our system and understand what we expect from them. They competed in the Kearny Summer League and have been working hard this preseason.
“Also, we are very pumped about our freshman group coming in. They have been as good as advertised thus far, and we are looking for some of them to step up and play varsity minutes this season.”
Nutley tips off the season Dec. 17 at Sparta in a non-conference game.
- Abby Scheidel, junior guard. She was the leading scorer on the team last season.
- Courtney Wilde, senior guard/captain. She has 850 career points and is closing in on 1,000 points.
- Nicole Sullivan, senior guard. Sullivan plays solid defense, noted the coach.
- Alaina Feater, senior center/captain. A post player, Feaster’s strengths are rebounding and blocking shots, said Mitschow.
- Rebecca Granata, senior forward/captain. Granata is another quality rebounder and post player, Mitschow said.
- Mackenzie Moraski, senior forward
- Lindsey Norton, senior guard
- Jaden Long, junior guard
- Sofia Lamond, junior forward
The Raiders’ goals this season include being competitive in the conference, while pulling off a few upset wins; qualifying for the state tournament, which they have accomplished in each of the past six seasons; and earning a high seed in the Essex County Tournament, which will allow NHS to host a county game.
“We are hoping to have a lot of competition in practice to help everyone in our program improve,” Mitschow said. “This is the first year where we have a large number of girls trying out and this should make practices more intense.
“Although we are extremely excited to have our whole team back after winning our league last year, we realize how tough the American Division is in the Super Essex Conference. Having to play teams like University, East Orange, West Orange and Newark Tech twice this year is brutal. These are the top teams in Essex County and some in the state.”
Arts and Payne Tech are the other teams in the SEC-Ameircan.
Mitschow’s assistant coaches are Matt Francello and Kara McNish.
Dec. 17, at Sparta, 4 p.m.
Dec. 18, University, 6 p.m.
Dec. 22, at Fair Lawn, 10 a.m.
Dec. 27-28, 30, at Westwood Holiday Classic
Jan. 3, Columbia, 4 p.m.
Jan. 4, at Newark Tech, 4 p.m.
Jan. 8, West Orange, 6 p.m.
Jan. 9, East Orange Campus, 6 p.m.
Jan. 15, at Arts, 5:30 p.m.
Jan. 17, at Payne Tech, 7 p.m.
Jan. 19, at Montclair, 1 p.m.
Jan. 22, Newark Tech, 6 p.m.
Jan. 24, at University, 6 p.m.
Jan. 26, Clifton, 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 29, at West Orange, 7 p.m.
Jan. 31, at Caldwell, 6 p.m.
Feb. 5, at East Orange Campus, 7
Feb. 7, at Bloomfield, 4 p.m.
Feb. 12, Arts, 6 p.m.
Feb. 14, Payne Tech, 6 p.m.
Feb. 19, Demarest, 6 p.m.
Photos by Steve Ellmore. Nutley vs. Columbia, from last season.